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ielts guide

The ultimate Guide for IELTS Registration

Ron Ross September 11th, 2019

Now that you are prepped and ready to take your IELTS test, you are probably looking to start booking for the next available exam date. Below you will find out how to register for your IELTS exam and learn more about other frequently asked questions.

Table Of Contents

How to Register for the IELTS Exam

Registering for the IELTS exam is fairly straightforward. To start registering for your next IELTS exam, all you need to do is to follow these 3 easy steps.

Step 1: Find Your Closest IELTS Test Location.

The IELTS test is available on every continent and can be taken in over 140 countries. The IELTS testing rooms are commonly hosted in British Council buildings and complexes, language academies or at universities. Other places host IELTS testing locations as well. To find a specific testing location that is nearest to you, go to the IELTS Find a Test Center webpage. Along with locating your nearest testing site, you will also see information regarding when you can take the IELTS test. 

Step 2: Register for the IELTS Test.

You can register and pay online or download an application form to print, complete, and submit to your local test center. It is advised to register for your desired test date at least two months in advance. You will need to provide a copy of your valid identity document. You will also need to provide this same document again on the day of the test.

If you are someone who is outside of their home country and wishes to take the IELTS exam, you will need to provide a valid passport to register for the IELTS test. This especially applies to applicants who are neither a citizen or permanent resident and are looking to take their IELTS in another country.

If you are residing in your home country or are in a country where you hold a naturalized or permanent resident status, you may use your passport instead of an ID card for IELTS exam registration. If you choose to use your nationally accepted ID card, you may need to check with your chosen test site center to make sure your local ID is an accepted form of identification. To check if your local ID is a viable alternative to a passport, use a reliable website such as IELTS.org for further information.

Step 3: You Have Successfully Completed Registering for the IELTS Exam.

After your application has been processed, the testing center will send you a written confirmation of the date and time of your test. It is typical of the writing and speaking portions of the test to be held on the same day. If this is not possible, these sections of the IELTS will take place within seven days of each other. For further information regarding the IELTS exam, you can contact your local IELTS test center.

Now that you know how to register for your IELTS exam, you may have a few other questions regarding the test. Let’s read on and learn more about the IELTS exam dates and costs.

When are the IELTS Test Dates? 

The IELTS exam has two sets of test dates available. They are global IELTS exam dates and regional/local IELTS exam dates. Below you will learn about the differences between these two sets of test dates.

Global IELTS Exam Dates

Global IELTS test dates are the days throughout the year when you can take the IELTS exam. The IELTS test officials determine the specific IELTS exam dates each year. These days are the only test dates that can be used by the IELTS test centers around the world. These IELTS test dates usually occur on Thursdays and Saturdays with Saturdays being the most common. Within this set of worldwide IELTS exam dates, there are dates for each version of the test. Academic IELTS exams have 48 testing dates available whereas the general training has only 24 dates available.

Regional and Local IELTS Exam Dates

The global dates are the only dates available to take the IELTS exam each year. The exam, however, may not be available locally on all posted IELTS exam dates. Often, individual test centers will only be able to give the IELTS test on a few of the listed global test dates. For example, some testing sites only offer two test dates for general training IELTS and two dates for academic IELTS per month. 

When is the Best Date to Take the IELTS Exam?

When choosing the best test date for your next IELTS exam you may want to consider the following points:

1. Your schedule - While testing dates are available all year round, they may not be available on the days you want. It helps to plan your schedule to include your IELTS exam date. For university students, this means choosing IELTS exam dates that fall in the summer and winter break months. For those who work a job, you may need to take time off to take your IELTS exam. Either way, your busy schedule will be a factor when picking the best test date.
 
2. Application deadlines - If you are intending to apply to a university or use your IELTS score for a job application, then time is of the essence. You may want to plan the day you take your IELTS exam within one month of submitting applications. Test results are viewable online between 13 - 15 days after you have taken the IELTS test. For schools and other agencies, it will take approximately 1- 2 additional weeks for them to receive your official IELTS score report.
 
3. Planning for potential retakes - While you can’t fail the IELTS exam, you can get a fairly low band score that may not meet the standards for universities or potential candidacies at a job. In these cases, you can retake the exam. Unlike the TOEFL the IELTS does not have a waiting period between retakes, so you can take the test again as soon as you are ready to do so. Testing availability, however, is where you will need to plan to ensure you meet the application deadline of the next available test date.

Can You Reschedule Your IELTS Test? 

While the dates of all IELTS tests are set in stone for each year, you may wonder if you can reschedule a test should you miss your planned test date. The IELTS exam board will permit test-takers to reschedule their test date under the following circumstances:

  • Death of a close relative
  • Traumas and hardships (such as being the victim of a crime or accident)
  • Serious illness
  • Military service

Any other circumstances where a test taker fails to appear it will be seen as a cancellation. If you know you will not be able to take the test and do want a refund, you must make sure to cancel your registration at least five weeks before your scheduled test date. You will also have to pay an administrative fee for the cancellation. This fee is approximately 25% of the amount paid to register for the IELTS exam.

How Much Does the IELTS Test Cost?

Depending on where in the world you intend to take the IELTS will determine the overall cost of registration. The average costs of registering for the IELTS exam ranges between $150 - $300 USD with most costs being somewhere in the middle. Countries aren’t the only factor that can affect test fees. Depending on who is hosting the IELTS exam and the location where the test is being held will affect the overall cost of the IELTS test. If the test is paper-based or computer-based, this too will affect the cost of taking the IELTS. Typically, the variation in cost is due to the organization hosting the test and not the delivery or location of the test. The only factor that does not impact the cost of the IELTS exam is the version of the test you intend to take. Both the academic and general training versions will cost the same.

How to Find and Compare IELTS Test Fees in Your Country

Since prices can variate based on location and hosting organization, it does help to compare prices. There are a few ways in which you can seek out the best test prices in your given area. One of the most recommended is using the official IELTS.org website. This site is the most user-friendly out of the official IELTS webpages currently available. Below you will see how to use this site to get the desired money-saving results you are looking for. 

Step 1: Go to the Find a Test Location page on IELTS.org.

When on the webpage, you will first want to select the IELTS as your test type. There are two options the IELTS and the IELTS UKVI. Only select the IELTS unless you have been directed to select the other option.

Step 2: Select Your Country in the Dropdown Menu.

Once you have selected your country in the dropdown menu you will then want to click the “find a test location” button beside the menu.

Step 3: Select Your City or Local Area in the Dropdown Menu.

After you have clicked the “Find a test location” your screen should show you all of the available IELTS test centers in your location. You will next want to select the “All cities or states” button and choose your city. A list of test centers will then open in a dropdown menu format. To figure out the fees of a particular test center, all you will need to do is click that test center in the dropdown menu. 

Step 4: The IELTS Exam Prices and Links.

Once you have clicked the test center a page, it will then show you all of the information regarding fees. Some links may require you to register or follow additional instructions to get to the center’s IELTS test fees.

Now that you have successfully compared prices, you can either register for your next IELTS exam or research for further information regarding the IELTS. 

 
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